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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

4 Confidence Killers That Are Holding You Back

“Self-confidence is the foundation of all great success and achievement.” – Brian Tracy

Evidence shows that confidence is just as important as competence when achieving success. Building confidence may take time and determination, but sometimes your own thoughts and behaviors stand in the way. These “confidence killers” drain your professional development progress and keep you from fulfilling your potential.

Here are just a few of the confidence killers to look out for:

#1 Fear of Failure

Failure or fear of failure is a large contributor to low self-esteem. Deciding not to take risks because you are afraid that you will fail slows your professional development and holds you back from success.

Not only can the fear of failure lower your confidence, how you react to failure also has an impact. When you react negatively to failing instead of viewing it as a learning opportunity, you are actively lowering your confidence. Understand that failing is a part of success. Your mistakes are how you grow and growing is sometimes painful. Break the habit of thinking negatively when you fail and choose to learn from it instead.

#2 Perfectionism

Sometimes what holds us back is our need to be perfect. To reach a ridiculous standard that we set for ourselves. But what happens when we don’t reach it? Our confidence plummets.

Striving for perfection is admirable but when it keeps you from acting because you fear it isn’t good enough is when it becomes a confidence killer. You need to trust yourself and stop listening to the overly harsh critic inside your head. Tell yourself that your best is good enough and that you are only human. Accept that you cannot do everything perfectly.

#3 Lack of Preparation

Not being prepared for something is a huge confidence killer. Having adequate preparation will make you more confident during the meeting or presentation and will lead to a better outcome. But if you go in without any preparation, you will have failed before you’ve begun.

Thankfully, preparation is something you can control. If you find that you are often unprepared, evaluate your method and make the necessary changes. Every day presents a new opportunity to make the most of tomorrow. Give yourself enough time to prepare and gain the confidence you need to achieve your goals.

#4 Fear of Judgement

Another confidence killer is the overwhelming concern of the opinions of others. What will they think of me if I….?

These thoughts have no purpose. While it is important to have empathy, don’t let the opinions of others stagnate your professional development. Trust your intuition over the negative comments made by those around you. Take stock of the importance you place on the opinion of others. Are these people who truly support you? Respect you? Want the best for you?

If they aren’t, then their opinion shouldn’t matter. Don’t let them define what you can or can not do.

“confidence killers” drain your professional development progress and keep you from fulfilling your potential

For more a more personalized self-esteem improvement strategy, register for The Self-Esteem Workshop.

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